CPM Minister Reduces Sabarimala Thantri To ‘Devaswom Board Recruit’, Says He Can Be Fired At Government’s PleasureDevotees visiting the Sabarimala Temple. (Photo by Shankar/The India Today Group/Getty Images) 

The Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran had said that the Sabarimala thantri could be ‘sacked’ if necessary. “The Travancore Devaswom Board has appointed the thantri. He can be removed if the board decides so,” reports Malayala Manorama.

The minister also reportedly said that action would be taken against him once the TDB submits the report on the thantri’s act of closing the sanctum door for Suddhi kalasham (purification rituals).

The Sabarimala thantri, Kandaru Rajeevaru, has told the Travancore Devaswom board that he carried out the punyaham after two women in their 40s entered the Sabarimala sanctum on 2 January 2019, and said that it was natural practice when the temple rituals are violated, reports Business Standard.

The thantri had closed the sanctum door at 10.30 am on 2 January, when two women named Bindu and Kanakadurga in their 40s entered the sanctum, violating the centuries-old tradition of the temple.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan came down heavily on the thantri and said that he should step down from his position.

The temple administrator, Travancore Devaswom Board, subsequently sought an explanation from the thantri. The thantri had reportedly asked for 15 days to reply.

In his reply, he contended that he did only what he is supposed to do whenever there is a breach in the temple traditions and customs. He also said that before closing the temple, he had informed the people concerned in the TDB of his action.

However, Akkeeramon Kalidasan Bhattathirppadu said the action of TDB seeking an explanation from thantri, regarded as a paternal figure to the deity, was deplorable and inappropriate. The thantri performed the rituals according to the ‘thantri’ texts.

Bhattathirippadu also said the Supreme Court had ‘not’ asked the thantri ‘not to perform the rituals’.

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